2003 Public Statement

Foreign policy advisor Adel Al-Jubeir on MSNBC addresses alleged cross-border infiltration into Iraq

In an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball on August 28, 2003, Crown Prince Abdullah's foreign policy advisor Adel Al-Jubeir responded to comments by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage that Saudi fighters are being held in Iraq by U.S. forces, saying that the United States has provided Saudi Arabia no evidence that Saudi nationals are crossing the border to participate in attacks against U.S. forces, despite repeated inquiries by the Kingdom.

“We have asked the U.S. government to provide us with evidence because we take this issue very seriously,” said Mr. Al-Jubeir. “If they are going to go to Iraq to cause mischief, they will come to Riyadh and cause mischief. We want to get to the bottom of this. We want to punish them. So far we have not received anything concrete in terms of evidence from the U.S. government on this, even though we have raised this issue with them several times over the past few months.”

Turning to the war on terrorism, Mr. Al-Jubeir said that things are going very well and both sides “are doing everything right”, commenting: “We are focusing on getting the bad guys rather than criticizing each other. We are sharing intelligence, we are sharing resources, we are sharing information, in a way that is unprecedented. I doubt that there are any two countries in the world that are working as closely and as effectively as our two countries are today.”

Asked about U.S. policy in Iraq, Mr. Al-Jubeir said the anarchy and the difficult conditions facing Iraqis are fueling attacks on Americans in Iraq and the outcome for the region depends largely on how the United States responds. “That’s why it is very important that the United States as the governing power in Iraq very quickly put together civil institutions in Iraq and ensure that the quality of life of the Iraqis does not further deteriorate”, he said. Urging the United Sates to allow a larger UN  role to get the Iraqi people back on their feet, he cautioned: “If it ends up being an American occupation of Iraq, I believe it will be a magnet for terrorists from all over the world.” He added that he had faith in the pragmatism of the American people, that they will resolve these kinds of challenges.  “I have no doubt looking to the future that the U.S. will do what it needs to do in order to make this work,” he said.